Just some guy's blog

North Carolina to Consider state-wide ban on work-place smoking?

Raleigh's News and Observer.

State lawmakers in tobacco-rich North Carolina are headed for a showdown over smoking in public places.

Spurred in part by a request from Mecklenburg County commissioners, the General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow counties and other localities to regulate smoking on their own.

Or lawmakers could go further.

Hearings are set to begin as soon as next week on legislation to ban smoking statewide in almost all workplaces, including restaurants and most bars.

Who would've ever thought it possible?

It is far past time for North Carolina to ban smoking in all workplaces to include restaurants and bars. History has proven that smoking bans do not destroy businesses as the opponents of such measures would have us believe.

In fact, Wikipedia says:

The experiences of Delaware, New York, California, and Florida have shown that businesses are generally not hurt, and that many hospitality businesses actually show increased revenues. According to the 2004 Zagat Survey, which polled nearly 30,000 New York City restaurant patrons, by a margin of almost 6 to 1, respondents said that they eat out more often now because of the city's smoke-free policy[27]

Is Onslow Commissioner Joe McLaughlin a Pope Puppet?

In the latest edition of Onslow County Commissioner Joe McLaughlin's "Onslow Board of Commissioners Update" (McLaughlin's self-written newsletter on BOC activities), he plays up his relationships with the John Locke Foundation, John Hood (the Locke Foundation's director) and Arthur Pope, benefactor of the John Locke Foundation and president of Variety Wholesalers, Inc.

Says McLaughlin about John Hood and the John Locke Foundation staff:

John and his talented staff have done a magnificent job illuminating corruption in Raleigh and advancing conservative themes. We are fortunate to have them.

Dumb questions from a political amateur

I defer to my wiser colleagues on a few dumb questions...

Many local elected offices are considered non-partisan (County commissions, City councils, etc).

How involved can local Democratic Party's be in the campaign processes for these offices?

Are Party endorsements legal/ethical within the rules?

What about building a Democratic base within the County/City structure of citizen boards and commissions?

Is it legal/ethical to attempt to have Democrats nominated to these boards and commissions?

Thank you all for your information and my apologies for asking perhaps the most ignorant of questions...

Is Onslow Commissioner McLaughlin setting the stage to challenge Jones, Jr?

Onslow County Commissioner and Republican Joe McLaughlin has come out frequently and harsh against North Carolina 3rd Congressional District's Walter B. Jones, Jr on his war stance. Commissioner McLaughlin was quoted in an article speaking against Mr. Jones' positions.

From the article.

Onslow County commissioner Joe McLaughlin said he is not surprised at the reaction, adding that many local Republicans are retired or former military and "know in their hearts that Jones' continued opposition" is "harmful to the troops."

"The action by Jones to sponsor the anti-surge resolution merely culminates his history of votes against the war on terror," he said, adding later that Jones is "kind of a Democrat in Republicans' clothing."

Sen Richard Burr - Friend to big tobacco, Foe to anti-smoking organizations

Cross-posted from the Brock Log.

As Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy promises to make regulation of tobacco a priority in his committee, NC's junior Senator, Burr from Winston Salem, promises to fight that regulation and to "make it a long and painful process."

The Charlotte Observer has it.

It's clear that Burr will do his best to protect the tobacco industry, which donated over $164,000 to the campaign during his 2004 bid for the Senate.

Tobacco is big business in North Carolina even now and unfortunately, they're still able to buy a politician or two. Senator Burr may be trying to protect members of constituency (big tobacco), but he's got to remember that smoking kills nearly half a million Americans a year (of which, over 11,000 are North Carolinians). Tobacco costs North Carolina over $2.4 billion (with a B) in health care costs and state funded Medicare/Medicaid costs over $760 million annually.

Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr - Against Surging Plan

Cross-posted from the Brock Log and the Onslow County Politics Web-log.

Last week I emailed Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr's office requesting his view of the President's plan to surge military forces into Iraq.

I wrote.

President Bush is rumored to enlarge the military presence in Iraq by sending between 20,000 and 40,000 additional troops. Military commanders have not requested the additional military support and have stated that such a large presence will cause more harm than good. In the past, President Bush has stated that troop levels are established by the military commanders not by political decision-making.

It is evident that the President has changed his process in deciding troop levels and has moved to replace Army Generals Abizaid and Casey (the senior military commanders in Iraq).

Does Congressman Jones agree with the President's political decision (made against recommendation of the military commanders) to enlarge the military presence in Iraq?


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